Hurricanes Karl, Igor and Julia (from left to right on Sept. 16) were part of the onslaught of Atlantic storms of the 2010 hurricane season.
Hurricanes Karl, Igor and Julia (from left to right on Sept. 16) were part of the onslaught of Atlantic storms of the 2010 hurricane season. NOAA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it expects an "above-normal" hurricane season this year:
Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is predicting the following ranges this year:
- 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which:
- 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including:
- 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher)
Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang reports that NOAA joins at least six other research groups with its prediction of an active season. Colorado State University's William M. Gray, who is the best known prognotiscator of hurricanes, predicted an above-average season in April. He said there would be 16 named storms, nine hurricanes, five of which could be major. Gray also predicted an above average chance that a major hurricane could make a U.S. landfall.
The Weather Gang says NOAA based its prediction on factors including warmer waters and the weakning of La Niña, which will ease winds and allow for the strengthening of hurricanes.